Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

Outreach Weekend Report - April 1-2, 2011

Weekend Summary
It’s no joke! 76 UIUC/ESLARPers arrived ready for the long haul to East St. Louis on Friday April 2nd, 2011! Luckily, the snow had melted and the landscape was in bloom. The caravan left Temple Hoyne Buell Hall at 7:15am and began the 180 mile trip! Ten minutes outside ESL, we stopped at Cahokia Mounds, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Professor Bruce Wicks gave the students a historical overview of the archeological site. The students were able to see our destination as well as the great city of St. Louis. The sun was shining, the students were curious and the Outreach Weekend had begun! Attendees include FAA 291, FAA 391, RST 218, & LIS 451 students, faculty and staff.

Upon arrival to The Eagle’s Nest of St. Clair County, the students were introduced to Martha Watts, the center’s Executive Director. She gave the students a comprehensive understanding about the history of Eagles Nest, ESLARP’s involvement, and the drive and determination it takes to run a successful not-for-profit organization. The students were treated to Chef JR’s specialty: the Friday Fish Fry. The students then toured the facility and loaded up and headed to their respective project sites!

There were students meeting and greeting at ESL’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, painting and landscaping at Opal’s House, constructing the new sign at Pullman Porter Park, painting at Jones Park Greenhouse, assembling and priming CTC desks at the Jones Park Community Center, constructing raised bed gardens at East Side Health District, working with the ESL Park District or attending one of many tours of the city and county. One tour in particular, the Toxic Tour, led by Kathy Andria gave students an first-hand glimpse at the environmental problems that are facing communities in industrial areas in the region, including Sauget, Granite City, and Pontoon Beach.

At the end of the day, the students gathered for a dinner/reflection session at the HomeTown Buffet in Fairview Heights. Brave students volunteered to share their day’s accomplishments with the rest of the teams. ESLARP also honored Billie Turner, ESLARP’s Community Liaison and lifelong ESL resident, for her contribution to the organization over the past 9 years. We love you Billie!! That evening, three courageous Graduate Assistants (Janet, Jenny, and Jenna) drove 21 eager and excited students to St. Louis’ City Museum for an evening of fun and exploration.

Wake up calls came early at 7:30am! Tired-eyed students trickled down to breakfast provided by the Sheraton Four Points. At 8:45am sharp, all students loaded up their vehicles to head to Jones Park to start the ESL City Tour! Billie Turner led the students on a historic and informative tour of East St. Louis. Stops included the Emerson Park Metrolink/Parson’s Place, ESL High School, & Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park’s River Overlook. The group then returned to Jones Park and regrouped to head to their project site for the day. Most project activities were carried over from Friday. The 150th Anniversary students participated in the ESL Smart $$ Fair downtown and the Emerson Park Metrolink stop. RST 218 students worked outside cleaning up Jones Park. LIS 451 students began painting the furniture for Jones Park’s Computer Technology Center. FAA 291 students replaced the Center’s trim. Additional students painted the elusive speed bumps at Jones Park, while FAA 391 students landscaped at Eagle’s Nest. Everyone was progressing nicely as lunch approached.

A team lunch was had on two sites: Opal’s House and Jones Park Community Center. Students filled up on pizza, fruit, cookies and crackers! The sun was shining and temperature comfortable. Some students took advantage of their lunch freetime and played ball in the park. Post-lunch, everyone returned to finish their tasks for the weekend. Some teams wrapped up early and other worked right through 5pm! At the end of the day, everyone was treated to Pirtle’s Ice Cream before heading back to east central Illinois. Another great group, another beautiful weekend! Until September! –JG

Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
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